American star Gerloff tops opening day of Jerez test

Tuesday, 17 November 2020 17:05 GMT

Just one second separating the top eight in WorldSBK after the opening day of testing at Jerez as Gerloff goes fastest

The first day of testing at the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto came to a close on Tuesday with ten riders taking part in a two-day test in Spain as preparations begin to take shape for the 2021 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship season. Rookies were able to test their machines for next season for the first time while familiar faces got acquainted with new parts on their bikes.

Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team) set the pace on day one as he got to use a 2020 machine which gave him an improved front end feeling, more grip and better contact compared to the 2019 machine he used throughout 2020 with the American believing it felt smoother. He was joined by new teammate Kohta Nozane for the first time as the Japanese rider got to test a WorldSBK machine for the first time; Nozane showing continuous improvement throughout the day as he completed well over 70 laps.

Reigning Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) finished the day in second place despite suffering from an issue earlier in the day at Turn 12; the six-time Champion able to get back out on track shortly afterwards. Teammate Alex Lowes also suffered an issue but went back out on track, eventually finishing in fifth place.

Team HRC ‘s test involved completing a test for tyre supplier Pirelli on tyres that have different characteristics from previously used tyres. Alvaro Bautista’s opening day was compromised by a crash at Turn 9 in the afternoon, although he was only in the box for a short time before returning back to the track. The Spanish rider set the sixth best time for the day, while teammate Leon Haslam was just ahead in fifth place; the duo separated by just half a tenth.

PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team’s focus had been on preparation for 2021 with the bike being described as “quite positive” from Toprak Razgatlioglu’s garage; aiming to improve stopping the bike and engine braking, alongside new callipers from Brembo. The Turkish sensation was joined by new teammate Andrea Locatelli for the first time with the 2020 WorldSSP Champion putting in excess of 70 laps as he rode alongside Razgatlioglu for the first time.

Loris Cresson (OUTDO Kawasaki TPR) also suffered a crash during the afternoon at Turn 6 after completing a staggering 72 laps throughout the day, with the Belgian rider finishing last in the standings of the 11 WorldSBK riders; Cresson going into the day with the aim of completing laps as he continues to adjust to WorldSBK machinery.

Isaac Viñales (ORELAC Racing VerdNatura) had positive first feelings despite running old parts on his Kawasaki ZX-10RR as he completed 74 laps and finishing the day in ninth place. Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) is the fourth rider moving up to WorldSBK from WorldSSP and put in 66 laps throughout the day despite the front sliding into corners; the Frenchman competing for the team he rode for in WorldSSP.

The WorldSBK order following day one of action at Jerez:

  1. Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team) 1’39.571s
  2. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.384s
  3. Toprak Razgatlioglu (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team) +0.484s
  4. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.545s
  5. Leon Haslam (Team HRC) +0.723s
  6. Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) +0.771s
  7. Andrea Locatelli (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team) +1.008s
  8. Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) +1.281s
  9. Isaac Viñales (ORELAC Racing VerdNatura) +2.345s
  10.  Kohta Nozane (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team) +2.375s
  11.  Loris Cresson (OUTDO Kawasaki TPR) +5.237s

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